Jeanne Meadow's San Diego County garden—front

While travel and garden tours are temporarily on hold because of COVID-19, that doesn't mean we can't do it virtually. Today I want to take you to Fallbrook in the northern part of San Diego County, the self-proclaimed “Avocado Capital of the World”.

Two years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the garden of Jeanne Meadow. This is a garden in the grand sense of the word—an estate, really, occupying multiple hillside acres. Jeanne and her husband Barry use the lower 2+ acres for themselves and lease out the avocado orchard which occupies the upper portion of their property.

I was invited to Jeanne's garden as part of the Succulent Fanatics, a Facebook group started by San Jose-based Laura Balaoro whose members occasionally meet up in person, typically during a public succulent event. In this case, the occasion was the 2018 Succulent Celebration organized by and held at Waterwise Botanicals Nursery in Bonsall.

Being part of a large group of like-minded gardening folks, I was trying to have a conversation or two while taking photos. At times, one (the photos) or the other (the conversations) suffered, but I did end up taking a lot of pictures.

This post is about the front garden; part two is about the back.

The first thing you see when you pull up to Jeanne's property is the long (and I mean looong) driveway up to the house, lined on both sides with succulents and palm trees. I really should have taken a photo of the driveway, but my attention was immediately diverted by these aeoniums right by the road:

Densely packed together and lush, lush, lush: Yes, aeoniums love San Diego County, even the areas a bit further inland.

And the rocks! Oh my god, the rocks! 

Agave 'Cornelius'

While I don't have a wide view of the driveway for you, I have plenty of plant shots:

Agave 'Cornelius'

A silver puya behind a mass of aloes

Agave 'Blue Glow'

Bismarckia nobilis, making me wish I had a property large enough for a pair

Bougainvillea in front of Bismarckia nobilis

Aloe cameronii and Agave geminiflora

Aloidendron barberae

Steps in the lower garden leading up to the pool level

Those rocks again!

Furcraea macdougallii and flowering iceplants

Flowering iceplant, maybe Delosperma cooperi

Now we're at the top of the driveway near the house. With the exception of palm trees and cycads, most of the plants are succulents, ranging from the soft to the spiky.

Gasteria sp.

LEFT: Silver-dollar vine (Xerosicyos danguyi)   RIGHT: Elephant's food (Portulacaria afra) and Euphorbia tirucalli

Portulacaria afra and Euphorbia tirucalli. I love the stacked-stone wall.

Euphorbia grandicornis

Sitting area at the pool deck
Coning sago palm (Cycas revoluta)

Another beautiful aeonium

Wider view of the same aeonium and aloe

On the far side of the pool
Desert garden

Aloe cameronii and a hammock next to the pool

Perfect Aeonium 'Zwartkop'

Agave titanota

Succulent and driftwood arrangement 

Agave flower stalk close to sunset

Click here to read part 2 of this post. It's all about the back garden: the plants! the rocks!

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  1. The front garden looks hard to beat, Gerhard! Wonderful specimens, beautifully presented.

  2. ah, to grow Aeonium 'Zwartkop' outside. If only...

  3. Oh my! That's a lot of beauty. As I paged down I was having flashbacks to our St Francis Ranch visit and how the property kept unfolding with more and more plant amazingness.

    1. Yes!!! Except this is a much smaller place (still much bigger than yours and mine).

  4. Fine garden. Two acres, wow! Fallbrook is a nice area, but gets pretty hot in the summer.

    How's the new dog?

    1. I wonder how hot it gets? Gotta look it up.

      Tofu has adjusted surprisingly well. Lots of loving on our part helps.

  5. Pretty sure those blue palms are young Bismarckia nobilis rather than Brahea armata. Looks like a great garden with such perfect looking specimens throughout.

    1. I bet you're right. There's just something about blue palms....


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